You are here

Male', Maldives - Investing in young people is not only investing in their human right but also an investment into the development of the nation. The UNFPA's State of the World Population 2014 flagship report launched on 18th November in London is launched in Maldives today at the ceremony to inaugurate the annual Youth Leadership Training programme organized by the Democracy House at Bandos Island Resort. 
The 15 and 24 years old make up 22% of the Maldivian population. This age is when important life events such as the first sexual experience and the first marriage take place. Although Maldivian girls and boys are free to decide who to get married and when to start having families, the lack of sexual health information and knowledge ill equips them for crucial life challenges ahead. On average a Maldivian girl gets married at 19 and has the first pregnancy at 20. By the time they are 24 a large percentage of married young people would endure a divorce. The Family Law restricts child marriage; however, reports indicate 35 marriages were registered to children in 2012 alone.
A campaign led by youth leaders with support from the Democracy House and UNFPA, under the banner #policy22 consolidates voices of young people and conveys them to the policy makers and today's leaders. Recognizing the Government of Maldives has given very high priority to youth issues, the #policy22 campaign give voice to young people on issues such as high unemployment, lack of motivation, high levels of substance abuse, low awareness on family values reflected in national policies. Who other than the young people themselves would know the challenges they face?
UNFPA believes that when young people are healthy and educated and equipped to seize opportunities, not only their incomes and standards of living increase, but poverty is reduced and the nation will progress to benefit all individuals. 
Young people recommends: participation in decision making, employment, health, housing, education and life skills, youth empowerment and development as well as protection against youth exploitation, abuse and neglect, drug abuse to fulfill their potential.
UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.
For more information or interview requests, please contact: 
Shadiya Ibrahim, Assistant Representative, UNFPA Maldives, 7924844

For the full report and other resources, please visit: